CBS Boston reports that a Boston hospital has denied a heart transplant to a patient who refuses to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
A heart transplant is desperately needed for DJ Ferguson, a 31-year-old who is fighting for his life at Brigham and Women's Hospital.
David Ferguson has been speaking out on behalf of his son, saying that he has "gone to the edge of death" to follow his convictions and has been pushed beyond his limits.
The family of DJ reports that he was in line to receive a transplant, but hospital policy no longer allows him to do so because he hasn't received vaccinations. According to the father, DJ simply refuses to get vaccinated.
According to David Ferguson, it goes against his sons basic principles and he does not believe in it. As a result, he was removed from the heart transplant list.
As part of the Mass General Brigham system, the COVID-19 vaccine is one of several vaccines and lifestyle behaviors required for transplant candidates in order to maximize the chances of a successful operation and survival following transplantation.
Vaccination is a requirement for this type of procedure, according to Arthur Caplan, the head of medical ethics at NYU Grossman School of Medicine.
Caplan explained that after any transplant, kidney, heart, whatever, your immune system is shut down. There is the risk of death from the flu, a cold, or COVID. Since organs are so scarce, the hospital will not donate organs to someone who has a poor chance of surviving a surgery when those who have been vaccinated have a better chance.
COVID is especially dangerous for immunocompromised people, such as organ transplant recipients. Because of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for these people.
According to the hospital, there are varying levels of priority for the allocation of organs, so patients cannot be "first on the list" for a transplant.
Currently, DJ has two children and one on the way. His family is currently unsure of what they are going to do. There is a possibility of transferring him, but he may not be strong enough to do so.
David Ferguson said that they are pursuing all options aggressively, but time is running out.
Although DJ and his family have been treated very well by the doctors and nurses at Brigham and Women's, they are not in agreement with the COVID vaccination policy for heart transplants.
Davind Ferguson was quoted for saying, "I think my boy is fighting pretty damn courageously and he has integrity and principles he really believes in and that makes me respect him all the more."
Because of this, they hope for the best and stick by his side. According to Ferguson, "It's his body. It's his choice."
A hereditary heart problem, due to which Ferguson's lungs started filling with blood and fluid, has kept him in the hospital since November.
He said he opposed the vaccination as well because he was afraid of heart inflammation, which health officials have said can occur rarely with shots.
DJ can also consider a mechanical pump instead of a transplant. Even if he isn't vaccinated, doctors will do that surgery.
In the wake of Ferguson's admission, both he and his partner Heather are unable to work.
As for Ferguson's job, his GoFundMe said that it required a lot of physical labor.
Comments / 73